A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still. – Dale Carnegie
The best way to win an argument is to lose it! What do we really gain from being right? By being right we do affirm ourselves and feel good, however we do the opposite to the other party. Is it really worth it? In the longer run will it really matter who’s right? What would happen if we genuinely stop caring about being always right? Why not let the other person be right, especially when it truly doesn’t matter!?
10th Dale Carnegie Principle: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
Here’s a story from the book:
"I was attending a banquet one night given in Sir Ross’s honor; and during the dinner, the man sitting next to me told a humorous story which hinged on the quotation “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.”
The raconteur mentioned that the quotation was from the Bible. He was wrong. I knew that, I knew it positively. There couldn’t be the slightest doubt about it. And so, to get a feeling of importance and display my superiority, I appointed myself as an unsolicited and unwelcome committee of one to correct him. He stuck to his guns. What? From Shakespeare? Impossible! Absurd! That quotation was from the Bible. And he knew it.
The storyteller was sitting on my right; and Frank Gammond, an old friend of mine, was seated at my left. Mr. Gammond had devoted years to the study of Shakespeare, So the storyteller and I agreed to submit the question to Mr. Gammond. Mr. Gammond listened, kicked me under the table, and then said: “Dale, you are wrong. The gentleman is right. It is from the Bible.”
On our way home that night, I said to Mr. Gammond, “Frank, you knew that quotation was from Shakespeare,”
“Yes, of course,” he replied, “Hamlet, Act Five, Scene Two. But we were guests at a festive occasion, my dear Dale. Why prove to a man he is wrong? Is that going to make him like you? Why not let him save his face? He didn’t ask for your opinion. He didn’t want it. Why argue with him? Always avoid the acute angle.” The man who said that taught me a lesson I’ll never forget. I not only had made the storyteller uncomfortable, but had put my friend in an embarrassing situation. How much better it would have been had I not become argumentative.”
Daily Affirmation: Today I’ll let others win!